A functional work of art, the remarkable bridge, designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, spans the tree-lined, trout-filled Sacramento River in Redding’s Turtle Bay Exploration Park. The 700-foot/213-meter-long span is undeniably striking, with its glass block walkway and soaring white tower and suspension cables forming a functioning sundial—a nod to human creativity and ingenuity, both important themes of the 300-acre park.
Before you cross the bridge, explore the park near the interpretive center with a stroll through Paul Bunyan's Forest Camp, modeled after an old-time logging camp. Cool off in the mist-sprayed butterfly house and wait for colorful residents to flit by, then step inside the center to see some of Calatrava's initial sketches for the bridge.
"Cool off in the mist-sprayed butterfly house and wait for colorful residents to flit by, then step inside the center to see some of Calatrava's initial sketches for the bridge."
On the north side of the bridge, on the other side of the river, relax in Mediterranean-climate display gardens highlighting native plants at the Mcconnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, or rent bikes to follow paved paths along the waterfront. An inviting network of mountain bike trails explores surrounding open space, with broad views of the Sacramento River and beyond.
California’s northeast corner is an outdoor-lover’s paradise, with safe-to-explore volcanoes, hushed forests, and trout-filled rivers. This is the place for blue-ribbon fishing, houseboats anchored in cool lakes, countless campgrounds, and inviting trails for hiking and mountain biking.
"When I first caught sight of it I was weary and 50 miles away and afoot. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.” --Author John Muir, upon seeing Mount Shasta in 1874.
All this, plus friendly towns like Chico and Chester, and inviting rural farms in fertile lands near the Upper Sacramento River. Redding, the region’s largest city, makes a good base, with riverfront trails, Turtle Bay Exploration Park, and elegant Sundial Bridge, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.
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